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The Deadly Swarm (2024) Review

The Deadly Swarm is a great example of the downside to having a long run of good films to review. Because while you’re watching them, you know karma is going to send a real pile of shit to balance the score. And that’s certainly an apt description of this killer fly movie.

Dr. Holger Feldman (Richard Kovacs, Hatched, Honey Trap) is ecstatic, he’s managed to get a specimen of the rare vampire fly, and not just any specimen, this is a queen. His son Liam (Connor Powles, Rag Doll, Jurassic Triangle) however is more concerned with how dangerous that fly is, apparently they wiped out the dinosaurs not a meteor, than whether or not it could lead to a cure for the disease that killed his mother, and will kill him.

Liam may not have to wait for the disease to kill him. In the inevitable struggle between the two, the fly escapes and bites him, sending him into spasms and cough up blood before collapsing. The fly then bypasses the lab’s containment measures, plastic sheets draped over the doorway and windows, and disappears.

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That doesn’t change Dr. Feldman’s plans to conduct some clinical trials, and he’s found some people broke enough to sign up for them, Ellie (Leona Clarke, The Jack in the Box Rises, Black Lizard Tales), Rust (Elliott Eason, Easter Bunny Massacre: The Bloody Trail, Mary Had a Little Lamb), Phil (Jon Kerr), Matt (Osian Dixon, The Elevator, Return of Krampus), Hailey (Christabel Clark, Dinosaur Hotel 2, Return of the Salem Witch) and Jess (May Kelly, Darker Shades of Summer, Monsternado).

There’s also a seventh potential participant, but when the doctor’s evasiveness puts him off he leaves only to find his car won’t start, and he soon becomes dinner for a swarm of flies which shatter a window to get at him.

Written and directed by David Gregory (Curse of Bloody Mary, Mega Lightning) under the title Vampire Flies, The Deadly Swarm’s publicity has the audacity to claim “The Deadly Swarm offers genre enthusiasts good old-fashioned fun with inventive effects. For fans of Gremlins, The Howling, and Critters, it promises a nostalgic yet fresh take on creature horror.” By inventive effects, they mean bottom of the barrel CGI, and by a nostalgic but fresh take they mean a collection of clichés and plot devices few other filmmakers have been desperate enough to use. About all The Deadly Swarm has in common with the films mentioned is that it does have creatures in it.

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Instead, we get characters who have signed up to be experimented on without being told anything about the how, what or why of it. Who don’t find it odd that this is happening in a remote manor house rather than a lab or hospital, and who don’t seem to notice the way Dr, Feldman keeps hacking up green goo. And when they finally do get suspicious, they stick around anyway.

As for horror, you’ll have to sit through way too much talk about dead and dying parents, being broke, and a scene of panty sniffing, yes I said panty sniffing, which qualifies as horrifying for an entirely different reason, before this creature feature gets around to featuring its creatures. And then it’s usually a swarm of indistinct shapes and one huge, ridiculous looking fly that’s supposed to be the queen.

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Sadly, the resulting mess isn’t even so bad that it’s funny despite its ludicrous resolution. There’s no entertainment, intentional or otherwise, to be had from The Deadly Swarm, it’s a total and utter dumpster fire of a movie.

I suppose I should have been expecting a dumpster fire though, The Deadly Swarm is from producer Tyler-James (Pterodactyl 2, Dinosaur Hotel 3) who might not be Scott Jeffrey but who does seem to have taken over his stock company of performers and filmmakers and is now crapping out the films that he used to. The more things change…

The Deadly Swarm is available on Digital Platforms via Uncorked Entertainment.

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